Newborn child with Sturge Weber Glaucoma Saved from Permanent Eye Damage through Timely Surgeries

A newborn child was diagnosed with Sturge Weber Syndrome – a rare genetic disorder impacting one in every 50,000 infants – by the physicians at Thumbay Hospital Ajman and successfully underwent 2 operations each in both the eyes

A 7-day-old newborn child with Sturge Weber Syndrome underwent multiple vision operations at Thumbay Hospital – Ajman, to escape permanent vision damage. The operations were carried out by a team led by Dr. Ahmed Atef Abdelhamid Shabana, Specialist – Ophthalmology.

A rare disorder believed to affect one in 50,000 infants, Sturge Weber Syndrome’s exact cause is not really understood, but it is related to gene mutation. It normally causes dermatological effects like a mark of the face usually referred to port wine mark, neurological effects commonly in the form of seizures as well as eye disorder commonly linked to glaucoma.

The one week old baby’s condition ended up being first detected by physicians of Thumbay Hospital’s NICU, who informed Dr. Ahmed as soon as they detected clouding of the cornea, with signs signifying Sturge Weber Syndrome.

Comprehensive examinations revealed that the child had stains on both sides of the face and the body, not a standard symptom of Sturge Weber Syndrome. What was even more alarming was that both the eyes of the newborn had increased pressure inside, causing clouding of the eye. This too was not like the standard glaucoma that comes with Sturge Weber, usually impacting just one eye.

After discussions with the pediatric neonatologist and the neurology specialists, and after performing all the required examinations to confirm the diagnosis, the staff led by Dr. Ahmed decided to examine the newborn under general anesthesia to identify the exact pressure and the extent of glaucoma. At the same time, the mom and dad were counseled and well informed that if the examinations revealed manifestations of glaucoma, surgery would be carried out to treat it and to try and maintain as much vision as possible, as waiting without taking action could result in serious impairment of the newborn’s vision.